Over a year ago I was in a store looking through bins filled with stones with my younger son, Caleb. He spotted this guitar pick shaped stone and handed it to me. I don’t recall the name of it right now–experts feel free to educate me–but I remember looking at the meaning card near the bin and finding that it helps with transformation.

transformation stone shaped like pick held in palmAt the time I was working to complete my All The Way benefit album, and feeling fully the effects of transformation in my life, having lost my best friend and soul mate to pancreatic cancer July 27, 2013. I also sought to find my way back into performing professionally after nearly two years away from the stage. I needed transformation. Craved it. I moved through a difficult transitional landscape, longing to grow wings and fly over the treetops to see the path ahead, or develop four strong legs to carry me forward to the next stage in my life, the next version of me. Who would I become, and what would my life hold?

I like to carry this stone during times when I feel a need for comfort. It boosts my confidence in my ability to be okay here and now while welcoming the now that is arriving. I have not changed. I have changed profoundly. I believe that both are true of all of us. Life and our own strivings change us, while in essence we remain, having always been all that we can be, like an acorn, eternal. transformation_stone1

I am thankful for this pick-shaped stone to remind me of my Song when things seem hard. Today is one of those days as I recall the pain- and sorrow-filled passing of my beloved three years ago. Such hard days I hope to never see again!

Yet this is also a day of gratitude and comfort. How much has changed these past three years in my life!

In my musical life, I’ve found new outlets for my sharing song that give me opportunities to offer comfort and understanding to others going through hard times. In June, I opened for an internationally touring act at The Brink Lounge in Madison, Wisconsin! I’ve co-written a song to encourage the people of Burkina Faso, Africa in their struggle for social justice, and it is being jointly recorded and produced with Burkinabe musicians and singer Awa Melone. I’m loving all the work I’m engaged in now!

My personal life flows with wonder as well. I am grateful for a new partner; we strengthen one another. My friends and family make their ways through the world with trials, yes, but surrounded by love. We have food that nourishes us, housing that shelters us, the blessing of good health. We have each other.

All that pressed down into a thin wedge of stone I rub between my thumb and fingers for reassurance and strength. All that and more.

All The Way benefit album now available!

Buy Kaia’s benefit album All The Way at CDBaby!

At least $4 of every CD sold and $7 of every digital album download sold benefits the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

If you live nearby, email to purchase a CD for $7. Visit my home page to listen to samples.


“All the Way” is dedicated to the memory of my husband Scott R. Jaeger who died of pancreatic cancer in July, 2013. Scott and I thought up this album in April of 2013. I recorded it in Beth Kille’s studio December of that year. Thank you Beth for volunteering your time and talent to this project! Thanks as well to Michael Mood for mastering the album. And warm appreciation to Scott’s long time friend–my friend now–Jeff Campbell for the lovely album artwork pairing Scott’s photos with quotes he collected in a journal for over 15 years. And to my talented and hardworking designer, Kendra Rowland for adding the finishing touches and designing my logo.

Scott R. Jaeger lived life fully. A professional videographer and photographer, the album cover features some of his black and white photos. For this album, all CD sales will benefit pancreatic cancer research and advocacy and patient support provided by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network through the Purple Stride Madison, Wis. annual event.

The four songs on the album include “Feel So Much” written early in my relationship with Scott when I felt the full awareness of how wonderful our love was, how wonderful to be living my life with my soulmate as a partner!  “I feel so much,” Scott whispered to me once when we embraced, and a song was born. The album also features two songs written the day after we learned that Scott’s cancer had returned and was stage IV. Those songs, “All the Way” and “Stay With Me,” reflect the knowledge that he had only months to live. They reveal my longing to be in the moment and how difficult it can be to “dance and sing when a storm is blowing hard on you.” The final song, “Where the Water Meets the Land” explores what it means to be alive and how I want to live my life. It was written four months after Scott died. Scott told me that he took strength from places where the water meets the land. I was in a dark place and was out walking and realized that I wanted to capture that strength in a song. The lyrics draw from the teachings of people much wiser than I am, rephrased in my voice and set up to rhyme in the right places.

It is my goal for this album that it make its way in the world to connect with people longing for hope and comfort. Please share so that others may learn about All The Way. Thank you.

~ Kaia